Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/27/14

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National / International News

<> Pebble Partnership Lawsuit Targets Overreaching EPA Pre-emptive Veto Process - The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) filed suit in U.S. District Court for Alaska seeking an injunction to stop EPA's process to preemptively veto the Pebble Project under Section 404(c) of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA).

<> CO2 concentrations top 400 parts per million throughout northern hemisphere - For the first time, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) in April throughout the northern hemisphere. This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance. . .according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch network. . .

<> New Ranking Shows All Major Auto Companies Boosted Green Performance - the Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) latest Automaker Rankings report, which found that Hyundai-Kia has unseated Honda to become the group's new "Greenest Automaker."

<> Americans care deeply about 'global warming' – but not 'climate change' - Read the full story in The Guardian. Yale researchers have found that the two terms, often used interchangeably, generate very different responses. The full report, What's In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change, is available. . .

<> Wind energy is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways states can meet carbon pollution rule for existing power plants - A just published Am Wind Energy Asso white paper, "The Clean Air Benefits of Wind Energy," finds that wind energy is a widely-available, affordable, reliable, and rapidly scalable source of carbon emissions reductions.

<> New Study Finds Strong Carbon Pollution Standards Improve Air Quality, Environment, and Health - New study by Syracuse and Harvard universities shows potential for reductions of more than 750 thousand tons of other harmful air pollutants across continental U.S.

<> Climate Change Accelerates Hybridization between Native and Invasive Species of Trout - Summary: USGS scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate. . .

<> International Conference on Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus - a Call to Action for policy makers, practitioners and researchers around the world to start developing and implementing strategies that jointly address water, energy, and food in a comprehensive nexus approach.

<> EPA Requires Mining Company to Restore Damaged Streams in Kentucky - U.S. EPA Region 4 has reached an agreement with Nally and Hamilton Enterprises, Inc. (Nally), for filling streams at two coal mining sites in Kentucky. . .

<> Science Advisory Board Teleconference Meeting - 06/19/2014. Panel for the Review of the EPA Water Body Connectivity Report – "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence"

<> California Moves to Ban Plastic Mircobeads in Personal Care Products - Bill passed by state assembly sets a national precedent for holding companies liable for products that harm aquatic species. . .

<> Obama Administration Announces $6.7 Million to Hire Young People to Work on Public Lands Across the Nation - The grants, the latest in the Obama Administration's efforts to develop a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) and expand employment opportunities for young people and veterans, will provide jobs resulting in paid. . .

<> China to scrap six million cars in toxic smog drive - China's government has underlined its determination to tackle toxic urban smogs by ordering six million high-polluting cars off the road by the end of 2014.


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> Center for Biol. Diversity v. U.S. EPA - 5/27/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 12-1238. Petitioners claim that EPA's failure to issue a new multi-pollutant rule in 2012, violated the Clean Air Act. EPA explained at length that the uncertainty it faced was unusually profound. Petitioners question that conclusion, but as between petitioners' critique and EPA's scientific analysis, EPA's judgment prevails -- "the petition for judicial review is denied."

<> Electric Power Supply Assoc. v. FERC - 5/23/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 11-1486, consolidated with 11-1489, 12-1088, 12-1091, 12-1093. Electric Power Supply Association and four other energy industry associations petition the court for review of a FERC final rule that seeks to incentivize retail customers to reduce electricity consumption when economically efficient. Petitioners say the new rule goes too far, encroaching on the states' exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the retail market. The Panel agreed and vacated the rule in its entirety.

Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Tuesday, May 27, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Nothing We're Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)